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Keystone for half a day? Bad idea?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
 I have to travel to Keystone next week for a one-day business meeting, and I have to fly in the day before.  Presumably, if I leave San Francisco on an earlier flight to Denver, I could get to Keystone in time for half a day skiing.  I am not going to bring all my gear with me, but I could bring my ski boots and goggles and rent skis, poles, and a helmet there.  I hope someone can answer a few questions for me:

1. Is it even realistic, considering the time to travel, rent gear, etc?  I ski in Tahoe (Squaw) on a season pass, so I am not really despearte to get in a few hours of Colorado skiing.  Does Keystone have a half-day ticket.  Is it better to go to another mountain on the way from Denver? 

2.  Can someone recommend a place to rent good gear for a day, ideally that would be something near the mountain to save time?  I would want to rent something better than a run-of-the-mill rental ski.  

3. Any recommendations on where to go, and what to ski- I ski pretty much everything at Squaw (except hard-core Squallywood lines).  

Thanks in advance, 

Alex
post #2 of 13
 I enjoy getting to Keystone a couple times a year on our jaunts, to explore the stuff "outback" but if I were going to hit a place on in my travels for 1/2 day I'd be more inclined to hit Loveland or Abasin, in part because of their lift ticket prices, but also because its easier to access parking, rental gear, and lift tickets. 
post #3 of 13
Don't forget on some days of the week Keystone has night skiing.

Stop by Island Ski Rental just after you get off I70 in the Office Depot shopping center. They have decent performance rentals for not much $.
post #4 of 13
I would do Loveland if I'm pressed for time.

It's the closest to I-80 (pratically right off it, before you hit the stretch that take you up to A-basin & other resorts). It's pretty compact so you don't waste time traversing around. Also good terrain near the main lodge area that's easy to find. Pratically no lift line.

A-basin shares most of the attributes. But another 10-20 minutes more driving. Though a bit more challenging terrain that are obvious to a first timer. So depends on what you're after.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

 I have to travel to Keystone next week for a one-day business meeting, and I have to fly in the day before.  Presumably, if I leave San Francisco on an earlier flight to Denver, I could get to Keystone in time for half a day skiing.  I am not going to bring all my gear with me, but I could bring my ski boots and goggles and rent skis, poles, and a helmet there.  I hope someone can answer a few questions for me:

1. Is it even realistic, considering the time to travel, rent gear, etc?  I ski in Tahoe (Squaw) on a season pass, so I am not really despearte to get in a few hours of Colorado skiing.  Does Keystone have a half-day ticket.  Is it better to go to another mountain on the way from Denver? 

2.  Can someone recommend a place to rent good gear for a day, ideally that would be something near the mountain to save time?  I would want to rent something better than a run-of-the-mill rental ski.  

3. Any recommendations on where to go, and what to ski- I ski pretty much everything at Squaw (except hard-core Squallywood lines).  

Thanks in advance, 

Alex

 

If you leave SF very early, you can get to DIA around 9 AM.  Allowing for car rental, figure 2 hrs to Winter Park or Loveland, maybe another 20-25 minutes to Keystone.  Another hour by the time you rent skis (everyplace has rentals at the base area), buy a pass, and get to the lift.  So, 12:30 on the snow. But what's the big deal over a 1/2 day versus full day pass?  Not much difference, I think.  With so little time, I might do Winter Park, which is more compact than Keystone.  The best terrain at Keystone is the Outback, but it's the most remote and only worthwhile on a powder day. A-Basin would be another good choice just down the road from Keystone (maybe access it by driving over Loveland Pass).  There is not much to recommend Loveland except that it is cheap.
post #6 of 13
I have left Philadelphia before around 7am (Eastern), landed in Denver at 10 (Mountain) and been at Keystone by noon.  Its doable.  Keystone has the option of night skiing too, so if you are later, thats an option.
post #7 of 13
You said you were in Keystone for a business meeting so sking there seems to make the most sense.  The Keystone rentals are right near the River Run Gondola and if its a day with night skiing (check the website), you can get a ticket good for the afternoon plus night skiing.  That would give you a decent day should you arrive a bit late.  It won't be cheap.  A single full day ticket at Keystone is $92.  

If you are early enough driving up, consider Loveland.  Right before you get to the tunnel, you can park right near the lifts and base facilites, and less expensive than Keystone.  They have a four hour flex ticket and also a package with lifts, equipment rentals and clothing rentals ($99).    
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
 Thanks, guys!  I am not sure I am so stocked about night skiing, I generally think that all night skiing sucks- visibility is not great, it is always cold, and you cannot ski the best runs anyway; but again, I am spoiled by skiing Squaw so often, so I should shut up.  



 
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

 Thanks, guys!  I am not sure I am so stocked about night skiing, I generally think that all night skiing sucks- visibility is not great, it is always cold, and you cannot ski the best runs anyway; but again, I am spoiled by skiing Squaw so often, so I should shut up.  



 
If you ski Squaw regularly, you will be very let down by Keystone.
post #10 of 13
The good thing about night skiing isn't skiing at night. It's the time after almost everyone leaves but it's not dark yet. Vis is still good, it's not too cold, and all those runs that are usually crowded are completely empty for ripping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

 Thanks, guys!  I am not sure I am so stocked about night skiing, I generally think that all night skiing sucks- visibility is not great, it is always cold, and you cannot ski the best runs anyway; but again, I am spoiled by skiing Squaw so often, so I should shut up.  



 
post #11 of 13
 Another thing to consider is altitude.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

The good thing about night skiing isn't skiing at night. It's the time after almost everyone leaves but it's not dark yet. Vis is still good, it's not too cold, and all those runs that are usually crowded are completely empty for ripping.
 


 
Don't they usually close most of the mountain for night skiing? 
post #13 of 13
Only a portion of the runs on the front side of the main mountain (Dercum?) are lighted.  Some decent terrain however. 
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